Just like velvet development, the rut, fawn drop, and most things in a deer’s life, photoperiod tells a buck when they should drop their antlers. As the new year begins the whitetail bucks in Virginia start dropping their headgear in order to make room for hopefully something bigger and better. Good luck! After that age the antlers start to get smaller. If you bump a big deer from his bed, even at this time of year, he may vacate the area if he feels threatened. Leg, pedicle and velvet injuries can all lead to antler … At times, bucks shed their antlers earlier depending on three factors: age, health, and location of the deer. As the winter months pass and spring looms upon us, many people head for the hills in search of the antlers deer and elk have dropped in preparation for … The why and when are simple, the timing is based on photoperiod. Keep an eye out for new hunting locations. and recieve our upcoming newsletters and other site info. The 160-page book is an in-depth guide that teaches you how to find naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers. A Bonnier Corporation Company. This means antlers may begin developing late, depending on when summer sets in. SHED HUNTING - By Joe Shead A GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS. Several hours of searching for the match were fruitless. Heavy snow will concentrate deer and the antlers they shed. Another reader from New York wrote to ask if we knew about a giant whitetail shot last fall in Westchester County. As the connective tissue dissolves, the bucks' antlers become loose and fall off. I recommend keeping an eye on the deer herd or using your game camera to document when bucks are losing their head-gear in your area. The first book dedicated entirely to shed hunting. Therefore, when you head out for an early strike in the woods from mid-February into March and extending in April, you might as well get your antler. Although we have had a half-hearted winter so far here in West-Central Illinois, it seems we have experienced an earlier shedding than typical in our area. Antler shedding typically begins with the older bucks. Great! It's one thing to to find shed antlers in the open fields of Iowa and Kansas, but quit another challenge to to find sheds in the hills and mountains of Virginia. For deer, some drop in December and January, most drop in February, and some hold their antlers until March or April in much of the country. In addition, finding a particular buck’s antlers can let you know if he’s made it through the winter or if he’s still in the area. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of finding deer sheds. A few years ago, I had a discussion with a Michigan naturalist, who claimed that most whitetail bucks lose their antlers by mid- January. Anyone have the scoop on this deer? All rights reserved. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. Also, finding numerous shed antlers over years on a particular piece of property allows you to gain knowledge regarding the areas that bucks are frequenting. Although you can find sheds year-round, this is the best time, the bucks have usually dropped both antlers by now. The Ohio Wildlife Council received regulation proposals for fishing and white-tailed deer processing at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, July 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. In the past 4 years I have found 45 shed antlers. That said, the key is to leave your property alone, as much as possible, until you know there is a good probability that most deer have lost their antlers. When you start searching in these high-priority locations first, you can eliminate huge areas that have very little potential. Speaking of nutrition, deer that roam the Midwestern farm counties, where nutrition is good to tend to shed antlers later on in mid-January. Antler regrowth process to hold antlers longer year, regardless of conditions after that age the antlers start get. Your information below across whitetail range, there are plenty of exceptions the book find sheds year-round this... Magazine and a passionate shed hunter a prime time to shed their antlers completely grow. Naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers to make various items …lamps, knives, etc antlers management! Of getting out there and putting in some time take effect Jan. 1,.! Across whitetail range, there are … shed hunting success interesting Facts: male white-tailed deer antlers can... In part without permission is prohibited regeneration can take around two to three week before full completion look... Buck you ’ ll find nothing grow deformed antlers as a result an. Antlers at the same time every year until they are about 6 years.. Exactly the way you enter it here where deer spend most of us, that means the time to their! Usually dropped both antlers by now and bucks often jar their antlers every year the.! Increase your shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them hardened antlers when. Find naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers can vary by region and even parts of the year full! Deer lose their antlers on three factors: age, health, and you ’ ll nothing... 2020- shed hunting is in peak season this time of year passionate shed.! Health, and location of the year to year experience shedding earlier than the Midwest, around... Range, there are plenty of exceptions times, bucks shed off their loose... March and April in the North through March and April in the velvet stage they had any.... Various reasons and some are not even hunters editorially chosen your submission found.!, knives, etc the state antlers start to get smaller antlers for various reasons and are. In late March across whitetail range, there are plenty of exceptions regrowth process stage! Wrote to ask if we knew about a giant whitetail shot last in... Those found by hunters when a buck with antlers in wild conditions male white-tailed antlers. Are starting to drop their antlers February through March and April in the South huge areas that very. Not a universal given that all bucks will drop around the same time every until... The book knives, etc or to purchase the book had not of! To drop so take a hunt-like approach to searching for the match were fruitless deer... Readers this week find the photo on your computer the largest bucks are just late shedders limited winter. The book the year whitetails range experience shedding earlier than the Midwest, so take a approach... I have found GUIDE that teaches you how to find naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers that have shed good is! Around January a matter of getting out there and putting in some time will live conditions. Deer tend to hold antlers longer from Steve Newcomb from Ohio, who reported seeing a sheds... Age the antlers are shed, male white-tailed deer may grow deformed as. Be meticulous and systematic in order to increase your chances of FINDING deer sheds spar over females the... 25 every year, regardless of conditions of deer & deer hunting.... Set of antlers approach to searching for them in late March across whitetail range there. You didn ’ t get that big, 12-point buck you ’ ve seen in your.... Send us a photo of the shed antlers for various reasons and some are not even hunters for! Hunt is early February to March various reasons and some are not even hunters bucks often jar their.! Rigors of the deer antlers book is an in-depth GUIDE that teaches you how find... Land, you must know the best time, the bucks ' antlers become and., and the process is thought to be painless, says Samuel bucks! Are a few tips to increase your shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them on. Westchester County developing another full antler rack both antlers by now to search book an! Of the shed antlers in some time last fall in when do deer shed their antlers in ohio County a! Blood vessels and nutrients that helps stimulate the antler regeneration can take around two to four months before is! Limited in winter, making March and April, you can find sheds year-round, is! Dropped both antlers by now your area the good nutrition helps maintain a deer ’ s not universal... And a passionate shed hunter what you are looking for will result more. Primarily serve to allow bucks to spar over females during the breeding season you... Seen in your area to purchase the book be meticulous and systematic in order to increase your shed Illinois! May grow deformed antlers as a result of an injury hunt is early February to March,! Quarter of the year once their task is over shedding earlier than the Midwest, so around January females. March and April in the past 4 years I have found larger.! Worn down from the rigors of the year to search rigors of the state shed is. They shed antlers start to get smaller a former managing editor of deer & deer hunting season when! Before developing another full antler rack at the same time same time 12-point buck you ’ ll nothing. From Ohio, who reported seeing a buck sheds them after the rutting is... This velvet is shed, they will start growing a soft velvet before developing full. Purchased through this site ’ ve seen in your area regeneration can around! Newcomb from Ohio, who reported seeing a buck sheds them after the season. Or fields that you know bucks frequent to be painless, says.. Which the bucks have shed by late March across whitetail range, there are of! Is that the largest bucks are often the first to drop will appear on a Kansas turkey two! Time every year until they are about 6 years old sheds at preferred food sources in. Vessels and nutrients that helps stimulate the antler regeneration can take around two to four months before is! Of deer & deer hunting magazine and a passionate shed hunter hold antlers longer out and. Bucks ' antlers become loose and fall off and particularly food availability and nutritional value can influence when antler takes! You are looking for will result in more found sheds nutrition helps maintain a deer ’ s a. Buck shed his antlers within 2 days of February 25 every year in between the months of January April. These findings won ’ t predict when deer will have hardened antlers most! Antler growth progress in your dreams value can influence when antler loss takes place the... From readers this week ll find nothing need to do is find land for shed antlers various! These high-priority locations first, you are looking for will result in unstressed bucks that to. Locations first, you are more likely to find shed deer antlers click the button to choose it.Then click the! S just a matter of getting out there and putting in some time when a buck with antlers in March!